Sexual assault is a gravely serious matter. It isn’t important where it happens; the place of occurrence does not affect the trauma felt by the survivor in any way. The survivor must work through severe psychological and, in some unfortunate cases, even physical damage. While it isn’t relevant where the incident happens, there are some ways you can fight it if it occurs in the workplace. This article intends to help you in dealing with workplace sexual assault.
Try not to get intimidated
It is terrifying to have your privacy intruded, especially if it’s by a peer you have to see every day. It is a breach of trust in the personal sense and criminal action in the legal sense. You should not take it lightly, even if it is an isolated incident and doesn’t happen again. It is a serious crime that may land your abuser in jail for a long time.
While navigating all the emotions related to the assault, it is natural for the victim to be afraid. Consider reaching out to friends and family for support while you go through stressful times. Just because the incident has happened to you does not mean you will have to suffer alone in silence.
Inform the company’s HR
It is legally required for every office to mandatorily have a strict procedure in place for reporting workplace harassment. It is understandable for the victim to have second thoughts about making an official report against the abuser. There are several reasons for it.
Firstly, it is saddening that we live in a world where not everyone might believe the victim’s story. Secondly, the victim might be uncomfortable sharing an incident that reveals so much personal information. Thirdly, the survivor might feel that no action will be taken against the assault even if a complaint is lodged.
Whatever the reason may be, most victims shy away from reporting rape and harassment incidents. Try to break that cycle and bring up the issue to the HR in your office. They are legally bound to take steps to bring justice to the situation.
Reach out to trusted colleagues
It might be difficult for victims to open up to other colleagues about their situation, but it is important. It will help them gather the necessary support for lodging a complaint. It also ensures that other people do not have to go through the traumatic experience that the victim has gone through. Putting an end to the cycle of abuse is essential.
If you have any friends at the office, let them know that an incident of molestation or assault has occurred. They might help you fight against the abuser by handling the legal and official process of complaining. If they have faced a similar situation and are willing to talk about it, you will also get another witness to corroborate your account. The more there are witnesses and testimonies, the easier it will be to convict the offender.
Consider getting a lawyer
Sexual assault is a legal issue of massive importance. It can send the offender behind bars for years and potentially ruin their life. The fault is never the victim’s because the offender chose to ruin their own life by committing a heinous crime.
Amongst all the victim-blaming and shaming in the country, it is normal for victims to clam up. Most survivors are shut down and silenced when they try to come out with their story. Having a lawyer somewhat reduces this hassle. A lawyer will believe your story, help you get all the facts in place, and corroborate them to get the justice you deserve. They will fight your fight on your behalf, at least legally.
If you are overwhelmed by all the details of the situation and want immediate help, consider contacting the best sexual assault victim lawyer NYC. They will also help you get to know your rights and use them effectively to get swift results.
Put it down in writing
If we keep pushing things to the back of our minds, our memory starts to fail us when a lot of time has passed. Our brain’s defense mechanism to trauma might also be shutting out painful memories. Whatever may be the reason, you should document the harassment in writing and in detail.
It will also prevent you from having to repeat the same story over and over again. Moreover, if you want to, you can share the piece of writing with the people you intend on telling the story to. That way, everybody will have a fair and consistently aligned idea of what actually happened. Even if you do not share the writing with anyone, it will act as a trustworthy account of the incident. You will have written proof instead of having to rely on your memory.